Have a safe time at the beach.

Summer’s winding down, and that means most of us are trying to get in those last few beach days before we have to give them up until next year. But if you’re going through the wound healing process, what should you do? You don’t want to let your wound slow you down – but you also don’t want any complications. Here’s a quick rundown on what to do and what not to do at the beach if you have a wound:

Don’t get in the water

Water and open wounds make an unhealthy pair no matter where you are. Whether it’s a chlorinated pool, a lake or the ocean, stay out of the water if you have a wound. It’s simply a bad idea for you to bring your injury in contact with all the creepy-crawlies that could be in the water, not to mention other people’s germs. Swimming could increase your risk of wound infection, so it’s best to stay on shore.

Make sure your dressings are secure

Another thing you really don’t want in your wound? Sand. It’s uncomfortable to have in there, and could require wound debridement to get out. Sand can also cause an infection. Your dressing has to be applied well to make sure sand doesn’t get in, and you should shield yourself from it as well. Wear shorts or even long linen pants if the wound is on your leg, and forego the dare-to-be-bare bikini top if it is on your torso or arms. Sit on a blanket or towel instead of the beach itself.

Stay out of the sun

While the sun’s rays are full of vitamin D, you don’t need very many to start noticing wound complications. Because you can’t really apply sunscreen to an open wound, you’re going to have to make an effort to stay out of the sun instead. Sit under an umbrella, wear full-coverage clothes and limit your time in the sun to be sure you’re as safe as possible.

Keep it brief

If you really want to go to the beach with a wound, talk to your medical provider about it first – and then only go for a little while. It will be enough to satisfy the urge, but not enough to compromise your wound healing process and potentially set you back with complications.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients.